weakness

[week-nis]

noun

the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.
an inadequate or defective quality, as in a person's character; slight fault or defect: to show great sympathy for human weaknesses.
a self-indulgent liking or special fondness, as for a particular thing: I've always had a weakness for the opera.
an object of special desire; something very difficult to resist: Chocolates were her weakness.

Origin of weakness

First recorded in 1250–1300, weakness is from the Middle English word weikenes. See weak, -ness
Related formsnon·weak·ness, noun

Synonyms for weakness

1. fragility. 2. flaw. See fault. 3. penchant, passion, hunger, appetite.

Antonyms for weakness

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for weakness

Contemporary Examples of weakness

Historical Examples of weakness

  • Making an effort to rise, he seemed surprised at his own weakness.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • In spite of her calculations, in spite of her love of money, he could make her feel her weakness.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Would he be strong or weak; and what would be weakness, and what strength, in a position so strange?

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Be happy, and rejoice in your weakness—but turn now to the strong for strength.

  • You have summoned me in my weakness; you must sustain me by your strength.


British Dictionary definitions for weakness

weakness

noun

the state or quality of being weak
a deficiency or failing, as in a person's character
a self-indulgent fondness or likinga weakness for chocolates
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for weakness
n.

c.1300, "quality of being weak," from weak + -ness. Meaning "a disadvantage, vulnerability" is from 1590s. That of "self-indulgent fondness" is from 1712; meaning "thing for which one has an indulgent fondness" is from 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with weakness

weakness

see have a weakness for.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.